“Before ACG Yoobee I was studying contemporary music in Nelson and playing drums in bands. I’d always been interested in filmmaking growing-up and was keen to learn more about it so I looked online and came across ACG Yoobee. I moved up to Auckland and did the Diploma of Digital Filmmaking (Advanced) and the Diploma of Advanced 3D Graphics. I graduated seven months ago.
“Studying at ACG Yoobee was great. I met loads of new people and made lots of new friends (including my current flatmate!). Learning to work as a team is something I've always struggled with and Yoobee was great for this. You do a lot of group projects so you have to learn how to work together to get them done. Most of all though I liked working on the individual projects because I had a lot of freedom to make whatever I wanted, and we were always given solid feedback on our work.
“Our first major project in Advanced 3D was the Still Life project. I hadn't done much 3D before so I was thrown straight in the deep-end and had to learn a lot very quickly. It was really hectic. But looking back on it now, it helped me so much with grasping the basics of 3D and how the 3D pipeline works.
“In my Digital Filmmaking course, we learnt a huge variety of things from operating cameras to motion-graphics and sound-design. We covered a large base of skills and it helped me grasp the concept of what it takes to produce various films and projects and all the different stages you go through to get to the end result. It helped me realise what I enjoyed and wanted to pursue further - and what I didn’t. That's what I love about this industry – it’s so specialised. People have their own role to be good at and work on to get the end result. It's very rewarding and everyone is valuable at some point during the process.
“I passed my Diploma of Digital Filmmaking with distinction and was awarded a Behance medal for having the best showreel in my category at the Behance Review Night. I got an internship with a small VFX studio, Studio Local, which gave me the chance to work on some pretty cool projects - mostly motion graphics-based commercials for European companies, and a few NZ projects as well.
Here's a video I made showcasing some of the work I did there:
“After I graduated from ACG Yoobee I knew I had to get myself a proper paying job if I was going to stay in Auckland any longer. I was always keeping my eye on the Yoobee job-seekers Facebook group. A job popped up for a motion graphics and post effects artist at an architectural visualisation company. I'd never really done arch-viz before but they said they needed someone who was confident using After Effects and knew a little bit of 3D. I was like, "that's totally me!", and so I sent them an email with my showreel. I got an email back within a few hours, asking me to pop in for a chat. The interview was so casual - they sat me down, put my showreel on and said, "mate this is great! How did you make this”? I was nervous because I've always had an unusual way of approaching my personal projects, but they seemed to like that about me. I got an email within an hour of leaving the interview offering me the job! In the past I’ve had a hard time finding jobs, but this was so straight forward. It was weird! I guess I was in the right place at the right time. I feel very fortunate to have this position.
“I spend a lot of time looking at draft-quality viewport renders of projects I'm working on so I can add labels and animate cameras etc. After spending a week or two doing that, and then getting the final 3D renders off the render-farm, you get to see them in all their 1080 glory. It’s the best! It always blows me away how good we can get CG to look these days. The creative industry is a pretty interesting place to be... there are heaps of ups and downs. I find it hard not to get too personally attached to a project and when a client wants to change your work it's hard not to get upset and loose a bit of momentum. That's something I have to work through every day and I'm always trying to become more efficient at working for clients and staying positive. But at the end of the day, it's a really rewarding industry to be in.
“I don't think I'll be in Auckland forever. I'm a country boy from the Marlborough Sounds, and Auckland doesn’t feel like home for me. It does offer some great opportunities though. I'd like to do a bit of travelling at some point - but right now, I'm enjoying working at an amazing company, with awesome people, doing something I love.”